Xi Jinping: military reform and personnel policy

Xi Jinping: military reform and personnel policy

The list of delegates attending China's upcoming 19th Party Congress offers tell-tale signs of which way political winds are blowing in the world's second-largest economy. Attendees from the military are particularly notable. According to the experts, military reshuffling offers a clue to broader leadership changes, particularly the likelihood of Mr. Xi further consolidating power

As CNBC writes in the article China's military is flashing clues about the country's complex politics, out of the 300 People's Liberation Army delegates expected to appear at the milestone event, which decides the future of Chinese leadership, a whopping 90 percent will be first-time attendees, Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the foreign policy program at Brookings, said in a note this week.

"This would constitute the largest-ever turnover of military elite in the history of the People's Republic of China," he said. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping's watch, the world's largest military has undergone drastic reforms such as the introduction of a Western-style joint command system and high-profile purges of top generals. The dismissal of several military elites in recent months was conducted under the umbrella of Xi's anti-corruption crackdown. "The degree of military reshuffling offers a clue to broader leadership changes, particularly the likelihood of Mr. Xi further consolidating power," said Li. The new military leadership will likely consist of Xi's longtime friends General Zhang Youxia, General Li Zuocheng, and Admiral Miao Hua, who are known for their perceived loyalty to the president, Li explained.

By controlling the armed forces, Xi Jinping got the opportunity to begin mass reshuffle of the party leadership at the 19th Congress. Of the 18th convocation central committee's 376 members, 38 have already been charged with corruption and other allegations. 200 people were retired or soon will be retied. Thus, the renewal of the committee in comparison with the previous Congress may amount to 70% and become the largest personnel reshuffle since the 9th Communist Party Congress in 1969, held at the height of the Cultural Revolution.

The same time, Xi Jinping and his closest associate - prominent fighter against corruption Wang Qishan - can make many enemies by this large-scale campaign. Accusing such a number of officials, Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan can lose their political capital. Therefore, the military reform is aimed at strengthening civilian control over the army, as well as deepening its modernization by increasing the efficiency of command and reviewing strategic goals. Apparently, the upcoming congress will announce structural changes designed to facilitate the implementation of these tasks.